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Elaine Torres of 7-Eleven talks about why she loves attending Big Design

Questions and answers with Elaine Torres

Elaine Torres is Lead a UX Designer for 7-Eleven’s “Loyalty Program.”

How many Big Design conferences have you attended?
I have attended four conferences. For the first two I was a volunteer with the UX Club at UTDallas. Then a paying patron, and then a Gold Sponsor with 7-Eleven UX Team.

What is one “stand out” speaker or talk you remember from a previous conference?
The talks I most remember are the talks given by A.J. Wood for Adobe. His talks are always so insightful and full of helpful tips and tricks for Adobe products that I use to this day in my daily work. There are so many others, but these were the most impactful for me.

What keeps pulling you back to the conference year after year?
I go back every year because this is one conference that I know I will have entire tracks of talks that I will actually enjoy and be able to take actionable information from. It almost feels like a continuation of my education. It is a combination of user experience design, and in previous years digital arts. Both topics which are very close to my heart. It is also a local conference that makes great strides in including students interested in UX design into the inner workings of the conference. It’s wonderful to see new faces beginning their UX journey in the very spot that I began my own.

For someone who is trying to pitch the conference attendance to their boss, what would you say is the biggest selling point of Big Design?
I would tell them that by attending this conference, I would be able to walk into the office on Monday and provide insights into how to solve our organizations problems. At the very least it would offer me the opportunity to learn new and innovative ways of applying the UX process across my company. The takeaways from this conference have lasting effects in daily UX work because it’s taught by industry professionals who have a deep understanding of proper ways to apply the UX process.

You’ve been part of a company’s sponsorship team at Big Design before, what “behind the scenes” insight can you provide to our readers?
It is a LOT of work! It’s fun, but so much work to set up and tear down.
I’d like to say that one of the best things about being behind the scenes is seeing how the conference organizers are quick to answer questions, and it has been my observation over the years that everyone pitches in to make every conference a memorable experience for attendees. The people who are giving the talks aren’t afraid to reach out and be a part of something greater than themselves. They converse with everyone at the conference be they professional CEO, or student new to UX and Design. This conference is compact, but full of people behind the scenes who really care about UX, design, the arts, and technology and it shows.

For our out-of-town guests, what is the coolest thing about Dallas?
One of the coolest things about Dallas is the connection with many different kinds of people. The community is diverse and offers a wide variety of different things to do. Food, Sight Seeing, cultural entertainment and late-night fun can all be found throughout the Metroplex (as locals call it). If you like people, technology and the arts, you’re going to love Dallas.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about Big Design?
Big Design is the little conference that could. It brought so many different real thought leaders into a space that was being overrun by expensive conferences that no one could afford to attend. Education and understanding always felt out of reach for so many. It made a space for people to come and learn without making anyone feel as if they did not belong because they were new to the scene or didn’t have funds for a ticket. Big Design Conference understands that everyone was once a beginner and I appreciate that.

Visit Elaine Torres’s website to learn more about her.

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